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Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano exceeded my expectations and had me swooning and sighing and laughing all over again. I absolutely adored this book!

Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

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perfect ruin lauren destefano

Title & Author: Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) by Lauren DeStefano

Genre: YA Fantasy – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Release Date: October 1, 2013

Series: Internment Chronicles #1

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

How I Got the Book: ARC from Publisher


“On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.”

DeStefano Does It Again

As an author, it’s got to be a terrifying process to write your next series. Especially if the first one had critical acclaim. One-hit wonders happen in the literary world, too.

Thankfully, I think Lauren DeStefano can breathe easy. Perfect Ruin is a strong first book in the new Internment Chronicles books. I LOVED IT!!

I’ve read the entire Chemical Garden series, so I wondered what else the author had up her sleeve.

Well, a lot was up there, because DeStefano created a very imaginative new world. Internment is a floating city in the sky. There have been enough generations who have lived there that the real story of how it came to be is lost. In its place is a story of powerful gods who reign over Internment, protecting those who want to leave. And by leave, I mean, jump off the city.

Most people don’t think about doing a certifiably crazy thing…but Morgan does. Her brother attempted it years ago and was struck blind afterward. Since then, the idea of becoming a Jumper and seeing what’s below has become a dangerous fascination for Morgan.

And that’s the beauty of Perfect Ruin: the questioning of truth and the determination to find it out for yourself. I loved Morgan and her quiet innocence and her dark secrets. She is a strong, silent type of character, which is refreshing break from the powerfully brash in your face heroine very common in YA. She is strong in her own way – in defying societal norms.

New Beginnings

I could read and re-read the dialogue from this book all day.

One example:

“‘I’ve known you all your life, and you’ve always tried to hide the parts of yourself that you think are wrong. But nothing is wrong with you.'”

“Those may be the best words he’s ever said to me. I mutter a ‘Thank you’ but it doesn’t feel adequate.”

It’s a dreamy, sweet romance, and I loved it. I think there are a few twists to come…but I’m content for now.

I think the pacing of the book could bother some readers who are used to a rapid-fire pace in the more action-adventure-y YA books out there. I personally loved it. Perfect Ruin took its time getting where it was going, and I enjoyed the scenic ride along the way.

And, the relationships in the book are wonderfully complicated and deep. Nothing is surface level, and I wanted to cry with joy at the amazingness of it.

This is a series to watch. Get it started.


The first book of the Internement Chronicles has set the bar for the rest of the series. If the remaining sequels are as romantic, whimsical, mysterious and questioning as Perfect Ruin, then we’re in for another killer series by DeStefano. Perfect Ruin is a book to read again and again.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.